Online travel operator CheapOair started marketing savings accounts with cash rewards as an alternative to the popular Buy Now, Pay Later options, which sometimes lead to travelers piling up debt and paying high interest rates to fund their travels.
With the help of a partnership with the fintech firm Accrue Savings, CheapOair is advertising a Save Now, Buy Later program that enables users to open savings accounts that can be used to pay for travel on the website while also earning up to 6% in cash rewards as a perk.
These accounts, which are backed by FDIC-member Blue Ridge Bank, are free to open for travelers. Travelers would need to use the co-branded debit cards on CheapOair flights in order to benefit from the cash benefits. They can withdraw their money without incurring any fees if they decide not to use CheapOair to purchase travels, but they won’t be able to take their cash rewards with them, according to the companies.
Accrue, a company that provides these plans to various kinds of businesses, said that CheapOair is its first airline partner.
The Buy Now, Pay Later Affirm agreement, which was put into place by Fareportal, the company that owns CheapOair, about five years ago, is not intended to be replaced, according to Andrew Stein, senior director of marketing and innovation. Instead, the Accrue contract provides a chance for marketing and for deeper interaction with customers.
Save Now, Buy Later helps CheapOair to engage with travelers early in the trip-planning cycle and to win over clients who may be debt-averse, according to Michael Hershfield, founder and CEO of Accrue.
He also said that visitors to the CheapOair website who leave their shopping carts empty, enter their travel information, and then leave the page before booking, or possibly even after previous flights, may receive promotions for the savings plan.